Jordan Lynch discusses whether the recent model ban in France is progressive, or regressive.
Last week I read an article in the Independent by Kim Ripoll about major French fashion houses, Kering and LVMH, banning models under a UK size 6, and I felt immediately torn.
While I was happy to see steps finally being taken to end the damaging standards the fashion industry has projected for years, I had to stop and ask myself, is this particular ban fair? The law whicch was passed in France in 2015 requires models to produce a certificate of health from their doctors before they can work, which, by all means, is a positive step.
However, this ban on models under size 6 makes the assumption that anyone that size is inherently unhealthy, and this I find problematic.
Imagine the uproar, if, these fashion houses started banning models above a UK size 16 for instance, on the grounds that anyone this big is not healthy and is not an ideal they want to project. It would be labeled as discrimination. “Skinny shaming” is as real as fat shaming, and I imagine girls that are naturally that slender and petite might begin to feel unrepresented and even ashamed of themselves if this were to become the norm.
Repeat after me everyone: A person’s size is not wholly indicative of their health.
Yes, models should be checked up on to see if they are looking after themselves and keeping healthy, but I don’t feel it’s okay to simply outlaw a whole size group. The fashion industry needs to start representing women of all sizes and shapes, and realise that women do not fall into two categories - little or large. I want to see women with jiggly tummies and legs to die for, or broad shoulders, pear shaped, hourglass, slender and curvy.
In my opinion, only when women and girls from all of these categories are represented in the fashion industry will the dangerous ideals and projections be a thing of the past.